UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Holland Full Fight Results
March 21, 2021
Some cards are just frustrating as a fight fan. It started with Julija Stoliarenko’s fainting at weigh-ins, which canceled her bout with Julia Avila. Then Gregor Gillespie’s bout with Brad Riddell was postponed Saturday morning due to COVID-19 protocols. Then in the main event, Kevin Holland decided talking was more important than fighting and Derek Brunson summarily dismissed him. In the end, we had six knockouts, including some thrilling ones, a couple mediocre fights and another week in the books.
Derek Brunson defeated Kevin Holland by unanimous decision as he tries to make another run at the middleweight title. Max Griffin put his name on the map with a knockout of Song Kenan in the welterweight division. And Grant Dawson got one of the latest knockouts you’ll ever see in the sport. We also had a husband-wife duo debut Saturday in Cheyanne and JP Buys. Both lost.
Craig finished 7-3 in his prediction and Matt finished 6-4. Matt now holds a three-pick advantage nearly three months into the year. Follow along next week for UFC 260 as Fight Night Picks continues to post predictions and breakdowns, previews and betting guides. Join Matt and Craig for Question Mark Kicks and the Fight Companion next Saturday.
Bruno Silva (+118) def. JP Buys by knockout (R2, 2:56)
Props: by knockout (+524); under 2.5 (+127)
Matt’s pick: Buys; Craig’s pick: Silva
Bruno Silva finally got on track in the UFC with his first win in the promotion with a great knockout of UFC debutant JP Buys. With a brutal overhand right on the counter, Buys earned his first UFC victory. It was his fifth win by knockout. JP Buys drops to 9-3 overall, and later cornered his wife, Cheyanne, who lost by decision on the main card.
Montel Jackson (-677) def. Jesse Strader by TKO (R1, 1:58)
Props: by knockout (-112); under 1.5 (-122)
Matt’s pick: Jackson; Craig’s pick: Jackson
This was not a fight that should have ever happened. From the get-go, it was clear the Combate champ was outclassed. Montel Jackson caught Jesse Strader with a left hook and then followed up on the ground to force Keith Peterson to call an end to the fight. Jackson was a massive favorite and improved to 4-2 in the UFC. Jesse Strader falls to 5-2 in his professional career.
Trevin Giles (-113) def. Roman Dolidze by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+262); over 2.5 (-103)
Matt’s pick: Dolidze; Craig’s pick: Dolidze
Over on mmadecisions.com, half the media members had Trevin Giles winning the fight, half had Roman Dolidze. That says just about all you need to know about this fight. After a strong first round by Dolidze, Giles took the next two on the judges’ scorecards. Both fighters made confusing choices throughout the fight, and it ended up being a bizarre bout. Giles moves to 5-2 in the UFC. Dolidze loses his first professional MMA bout and drops to 8-1.
Grant Dawson (-194) def. Leonardo Santos by knockout (R3, 4:59)
Props: by knockout (+457); over 2.5 (-164)
Matt’s pick: Dawson; Craig’s pick: Dawson
If you don’t want to put the fight in the judges’ hands, you need a finish. Grant Dawson used all 15 minutes to get one, ending the fight in the final second by a hammerfist to Leonardo Santos’ dome, then following it up with three more before Chris Tognoni waved it off. Dawson was leading on two judges’ scorecards entering the third round, and was in control of the third, so he would have won anyway, but it was good to see a fighter eager to get the late stoppage. Dawson improves to 5-0 in the promotion. It was Santos’ first loss in the UFC. The 41-year-old is now 7-1-1.
Macy Chiasson (-240) def. Marion Reneau by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+108); over 2.5 (-202)
Matt’s pick: Chiasson; Craig’s pick: Chiasson
What a performance by Macy Chiasson! She dominated the first round before earning the unanimous decision in a back-and-forth battle. The 29-year-old is back on the rise in the bantamweight decision with two wins in a row; hse is now 5-1 in the UFC. The 43-year-old Marion Reneau has now lost four straight and it’s starting to feel like her time in the promotion is nearing an end.
Tai Tuivasa (-471) def. Harry Hunsucker by TKO (R1, 0:49)
Props: by knockout (-280); under 1.5 (-284)
Matt’s pick: Tuivasa; Craig’s pick: Tuivasa
All credit to UFC newcomer Harry Hunsucker for stepping in as a short-notice replacement for Don’Tale Mayes but it was obvious how this was going to go. “Bam Bam” landed a big right hand early, followed it up with some ground and pound, and Herb Dean put an end to this mismatch early. Tuivasa is now 5-3 in the UFC and has knockouts in 11 of his 12 professional victories.
Adrian Yanez (-233) def. Gustavo Lopez by knockout (R3, 0:27)
Props: by knockout (+116); under 2.5 (-165)
Matt’s pick: Yanez; Craig’s pick: Yanez
Is Adrian Yanez a polished striker or what? Wow! Yanez completely dominated with his quick and efficient striking, countering whatever Gustavo Lopez came forward with. Inevitably, he clipped Lopez clean one too many times as he again proved why he’s one of the hottest prospects in the sport. It really feels like Yanez will be something in the bantamweight division for a long time. He improved to 2-0 in the UFC. Lopez dropped to 1-2 in the promotion.
“Conejo” went to the well and went too it often. She held Cheyanne Buys in a scarfhold for most of the fight and Buys didn’t have an answer for it. It was rather unentertaining, but that’s the way things go sometimes. Things got spicy after the final bell, though, as Montserrat Ruiz allegedly spit on Buys. A scuffle ensued. Video evidence is unclear on whether Ruiz, who denies the action, actually spit or just motioned like she was spitting. Either way, it goes down as a victory for Ruiz in a battle of UFC debutants.
Max Griffin (-205) def. Song Kenan by TKO (R1, 2:20)
Props: by knockout (+452); under 1.5 (+258)
Matt’s pick: Song; Craig’s pick: Griffin
Max Griffin’s nickname is “pain” for a reason. The reason being that Song Kenan is in a lot of pain after a brutal first-round knockout by the UFC veteran. Griffin, now 5-6 in the promotion, caught Song with left, then a right and Keith Peterson couldn’t jump in quick enough to stop a final right when Song crumpled to the ground. The fantastic performance from Griffin puts him on a mini two-fight win streak. It was Song’s second loss in the promotion.
Derek Brunson (+176) def. Kevin Holland by unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46)
Props: by decision (+367); over 4.5 (+153)
Matt’s pick: Brunson; Craig’s pick: Holland
Veteran vs. Trash talker: Guess who wins? Kevin Holland was content with the crafty veteran Derek Brunson controlling the fight for four rounds. When Holland scored a takedown in the fifth round — the first time Brunson has been taken down in his UFC career — Holland acted like he just scored a knockout. It was talk, talk, talk for Holland while Brunson had no problems cruising to an unanimous decision victory. Brunson is now 13-5 in the UFC as he tries to make another run at the middleweight crown. Holland’s spectacular 2020 is somewhat diminished by the poor performance. He’s now 8-3 in the UFC.